Columbia County Dispatch
The Columbia County 911-dispatch system may be in for a change.
County commissioners voted to take control of the system and consolidate it, but now they may need new equipment installed.
In 2005, the commission approved a $400,000 equipment purchase, but in 2006 Sheriff Bill Gootee bought less expensive software. But according to a consultant, this software is incompatible with other agency's software, and is the reason why Commissioner Ron Williams wants the county to take back control of 911.
â€œBefore we gave the sheriff 911, that was one of the most treasured things that I liked because we got so many compliments about 911, and unfortunately that's changed,â€ Williams said.
The equipment has created a dispute between the commission and the sheriff, who thinks new equipment is not necessary. Sheriff's candidate Mark Hunter said he has been trying to make the county aware of dispatch and training issues. He said if he's elected, he will work with all parties to get it right.
If a switch is made, more than a half-million dollars in grant money is available.
Commissioner Stephen Bailey said he hopes a decision will be made by the Oct. 2 county commission meeting.
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